COFFS Harbour City councillors have added fluoridation of public water supplies to the issues they want to see discussed at the 2013 Local Government Association annual conference.
The conference will be held from October 1-3 in the Sydney Town Hall.
The other four issues the councillors voted at last week’s council meeting to take to the conference are the financial sustainability of local government; the infrastructure backlog; climate change and local government reform, especially the discussion paper issued by the Independent Local Government Review Panel.
Cr Nan Cowling brought up the issue of fluoridation, saying some Queensland councils had rejected it and she suggested NSW councils should do the same.
Cr Cowling said she believed tooth decay had more to do with access to dentistry than with fluoridation of water and Coffs Harbour had a large population of seniors who did not benefit from fluoride in the water.
Cr Cowling said there was also the cost factor to be considered, with fluoridation of the Coffs Harbour water supply costing about $65,000 a year.
Cr Sally Townley said almost 20 Queensland councils had ceased fluoridation in the last two or three years and there was a groundswell of public opinion against it.
Fluoridation is widely supported by dentists and public health advocates, who say it is the single most effective dental health measure to prevent tooth decay in all children, although there are questions about the effects of fluoridated water on older people.